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23 Feb 2004

behaviour problems girl 9years old
i wonder if anyone can help i have a 9 year old daughter and we can not seem to understand her attitude (a brief outline) we have been married 20 yrs with no probs we have 2 other kds 17 boy 16 girl, no problems at home no major conflicts etc but my youngest seems so angry all the time, she had a few problems at school being bullied but that has been resolved with no change in her ways, she is not a bad girl, but things like, will never do anything she is asked no matter how small, example wont clean teeth when asked, refuses to go to bed, argues with both my wife and myself as though she is an adult, even though we try desperatly to treat her like the little girl she is, she littrally thinks she can do what ever she likes and when we say no to her she acts grief striken, she seems to have a jeckle and hide personalty, she has pets that she treats really well, and she has a good standard of reading and writing and is very keen on all aspects of art, she is not a greedy child and she gets a lot of attention from both us parents, although i would like my elder children to be a little kinder to her as they dont have any time att all for her, this is becoming an increasing problem and we do not know what to do next, we would be grateful for any advise you could give
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Nellie's experience sounds very relevant. Seeing a child psychologist or child psychiatrist could help a lot, because it sounds as if what would work best would be to plan an agreed range of responses for you parents and the older children, when confronted with Junior's misbehaviours and confrontations --- and to do this well requires discussion and the use of far more detail than it's practical to exchange here.
It's reassuring to hear about the things she can do well, and it can be worth while to emphasize these, giving her increased attention ( from all 4 of you from the "older" part of the family ) in relation to these activities ( her pet-care, her art, etc ); and to wihdraw interest and atention when she is misbehaving.
Also, when a kid is being oppositional like this, once you let her trap you in an argument about whether or not she will go to be, you've lost already. If instead, you ask her to make the decision as to whether to go to be now, in 15 minutes, or in 30 minutes --- she gets to make the decision, but whichever she choses, it ends in her going to bed. Similarly, you don't argue about whether she'll get dressed. but whether she'll wear the red shirt or the green shirt ; which of two brands of toothpaste she'll use today, and so on --- you choose the issue such that it subtly includes her doing the main thing you want, while allowing her the sensation of choosing HOW she will comply wih the rules, or when.
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